Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

Spring 4-2017


Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Alan Lipps, Ph. D.

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Rachel Slaymaker, LMSW

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Steve Rowlands, MMFT, LMFT, LPC


Research shows that aspects of religion and spirituality can influence drinking behavior among university students. Some believe that an internalized commitment to God, or to another spiritual force, is an important component in explaining relationships between religion, spirituality, and drinking behavior. One way of understanding and measuring this internalized commitment to God is based on attachment theory. Another way of measuring and understanding internalized beliefs about the degree to which God shapes behavior is based on the social learning theory concept called locus of control. Conceptually, low God locus of control indicates that one believes God is passive and not involved in decisions pertaining to drinking. Research shows that college or university students who have anxious God attachments are likely to experience negative consequences as a result of binge drinking. These individuals believe God is inconsistent in their lives. Likewise, low (passive) God locus of control (LOC) seems to increase drinking and negative consequences from drinking. In this study, 19 students (15 males, 4 females) attending Abilene Christian University (ACU) participating in a Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) program completed the following four measures: Attachment to God Inventory (AGI), Alcohol-related God Locus of Control Scale for Adolescents (AGLOC-A), General Drinking Questionnaire, and Negative Outcomes of Drinking were assessed to determine if attachment to God and God LOC impacted their drinking. Results indicated that low (passive) God locus of control was associated with increased drinking and that anxious attachment to God was associated with negative consequences of drinking. Implications are discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons



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